I have come to the point in my life that I have dreaded for so long. I’ve reached the proverbial end of my rope. And I knew it was coming. I knew it was gonna happen. I have no grand illusions of getting through these next few years unscathed. But I really, really wasn’t expecting it to be this hard.
Teenagers. More specifically, a teenage boy. Two little, seemingly insignificant words, but for me, they inflict great stress, worry, fear, doubt, and at times, hatred.
Hatred might be too strong of a word. I swear, I don’t really hate this once wonderful boy. But, at times, I just want to run as far away from him as I possibly can and never look back! Any parent of a teenager can relate. I hope. If not, then please have mercy on me and don’t judge me too harshly.
I know that teenagers are, at times, completely foreign to us parents who are just trying to help our children turn into productive members of society. But, I swear, and I know each generation of parents says this about their kids, but I swear, these kids today are worse than I ever was growing up. And Lord knows I was one mouthy teenager. God bless my poor Mama for having to endure me. But I truly believe, with all my heart and soul, that my Mama woulda killed me for sure if I’d have done some of the things my son is trying to get away with. I say trying because I’ve not lost complete control… yet.
That being said, as previously stated, I do think I’m at the end of my rope with this kid. I think my breaking point has been reached and it’s time for an overhaul before things get really outta hand. Right now, it’s mostly just the normal teenage crap that I’m having to deal with; the mouthiness, the know it all syndrome, the I’ll be nice long enough to get my way syndrome, the I don’t know or I forgot syndrome, etc. Any of y’all proud parents of older kids out there knows exactly what I’m talking about. But I feel like I’ve gotta get this thing under control or it’s gonna morph into something far worse than just a know it all kid who’s sassy and lazy.
And my absolute favorite response from everyone I’ve talked to about this, “It’s gonna get worse before it gets better so prepare yourself.” Uggghhh!
What the heck am I supposed to do with that kind of honesty? Couldn’t they just lie to me? Just a little? Just enough to give me a little glimmer of hope for a brighter tomorrow?
The truth is, No, they couldn’t. Because I’m not a woman who wants the truth sugar-coated. I want the cold hard facts. These same people keeping reassuring me that things will get better and that this is just a phase that all teenagers go through and that I just have to hold my ground and stay on him and it’ll all work itself out in the end. I sure do hope they’re all right.
My biggest problem is that I’m sometimes a little too lenient and I have times when I’m not very consistent. And I’m learning that this is probably the key to my whole problem here. But in my defense, he didn’t come with an instruction manual and I vehemently loathe playing the bad guy all the time! This past week I found myself wishing for just one day, one day, without any tension or conflict with this kid. Just one day where I could sit back and enjoy being with this once wonderful boy that I know is still hiding somewhere deep within the recesses of all this ugliness that just seems to emanate from this kid.
Bam! Reality set in real quick and he and I had a Come-to-Jesus meeting the other day and here I am, playing the bad guy, yet again. I see all these other families where they appear to have good relationships with their kids and the mothers don’t look like they’re gonna climb a clock tower with an Uzi and the fathers are cool, calm and collected and their kids are always just so polite… Wait a minute!
On the outside, we look like that, too!!! Because for all his faults, that boy of mine is always well behaved and very polite when we’re out together with friends or at a family function. He’s always on his best behavior at those times. It’s only when we’re alone together that he shows his behind! Maybe, just maybe, most, if not all, of these other families are having the same kinds of issues at their house. Perhaps, all these other seemingly “perfect” families aren’t so perfect after all. Maybe they’re all just trying to muddle through these teenage years just like we are! And perhaps their kids, just like mine, are really good people inside and they’re just trying to find their way through all the hormonal changes and peer pressure and sexual changes and every other weird thing that happens when you’re a teenager. Maybe…
But, that doesn’t stop me from wanting peace and harmony in my house again. And it sure doesn’t mean that my rope just extended a few more feet. There will still be order and civility in our house! Teenagers or no teenagers! I’m still working on cracking the code for turning this torturous monster/loving boy into a good man one day. I’ll let y’all know if I figure it out. If any of you out there have any suggestions, feel free to share. I’m always open to learning new things. And I promise not to climb any clock towers any time soon.
Thanks again for being patient with me.